VIRAL SUPREME CROISSANTS WITH CORNFLAKE PASTRY CREAM
Have you heard of the viral Supreme Croissants from Lafayette Grand Cafe and Bakery in NYC, where the croissants are spiral in shape, filled with a luscious pastry creme, topped with a ganache and further toppings?! Well, I have not tried them, but heard a ton about these viral croissants.
As quoted by Tasting Table, Lafayette Pastry Chef Scott Cioe and Head Boulanger James Belisle wanted to reimagine the classic chocolate croissant. The invention went through several evolutions before arriving at the final form that would take NYC foodies by storm. In my opinion this creation is brilliant, and is so visually appealing!
After all the training that I have had in Laminated doughs, from SF Cooking School, that unfortunately closed down in the pandemic, I had to create these viral croissants!
I took the lessons from the laminated dough class, and learnt on my own as to how to get the perfect spiral for these croissants, and also how to get them perfectly flat once baked, and crispy too at the same time. It has taken me a lot of European butter and dough, and arm muscle strength to go through, to learn the tips and tricks for laminated dough.
Even though you learn it in the class, unless you practice it at home on your own, in your own kitchen, you will never understand the intricacies of this simple yet complex/therapeutic process, that is truly a calming influence – atleast for me!
French pastries take time and effort, and a lot of love. If you have a weekend of free time, and you want to experiment and learn something new, this is a great activity to learn and pursue, and finally get rewarded with flakey, buttery, gooey, perfect pastries!
Key equipment for Lamination
The key equipment for lamination are:
- Bench scraper : I dont think I have used any kitchen tool more than I use the bench scraper! It is a MUST when laminating dough.
- Rolling pin : Use a rolling pin, one that you are comfortable with, and is easy to work with. You need a fat, even rolling pin, to evenly roll out the dough.
- Wide haired brush : This is used to brush off excess flour from the dough, during the process.
- 2 feet stainless steel ruler: Again your best friend for lamination. It helps to measure out the dough, and get an idea as to how many of any pastry you can make.
- Pastry brush : for brushing the egg wash and the simple syrup on the pastries, before and after baking.
- Five-wheel stainless steel pastry cutter : This is not a must but a good to have. It is a useful tool to get even cuts. I love using it to create pie lattices, or even danishes, or as I used here to create the supreme croissants.
We start off with the simple European butter. It is important to use European butter because it has higher fat content than the US butter and it JUST makes better, flakier French pastries! It is creamier, richer and flavorful than the US counterpart. I have always used Plugra butter. I go through several butter chunks, since french pastries use a lot of buttah!
The key is to create a butter block that is smooth, even and an 8×8 inch square. I cut the butter into rectangles, horizontally, lengthwise, and place it in a tetris format between two parchment papers. Then you have to pound it with a rolling pin, and straighten it out with a bench scraper to get straight edges.
Once you get your desired size, pack the butter properly so that the fridge smells do not get into it until ready to use. You can make the butter block a few days in advance too.
You can find the YouTube video here: How to make Supreme Croissants like at Lafayette Bakery! Episode 1: Let’s make the butter block! – YouTube
How I have outlined the recipe
I have outlined the recipe into different days, and what one can do on which day. The recipe itself is very detailed, and I do not want to spell it out in the blog post as well as how to make the croissants. I will however give you the important tips and tricks necessary to be successful in the process.
Make the Pastry Cream, which is the filling for the croissants. The cream needs to chill- and set in the fridge.
Make the butter block.
Make the Brioche Dough. The dough is the easiest. It is simply like a brioche dough, with bread flour, butter, eggs, whole milk, yeast, sugar and salt. The most important tip for making the brioche dough is the Window Pane test. After kneading the dough in the stand mixer, you want to do the windowpane test.
The test is to take a piece of dough, stretch it between the first three fingers including your thumb of both hands, and see if it breaks. You should be able to sort of “see through” the dough. If it breaks then that means that you need to knead more and the gluten has not developed properly. Repeat the test after kneading for 1 to 2 more minutes.
Then you have to let the dough rest in the fridge overnight, to be ready to make the turns the next Day.
The first tip is to have all the equipment near you at all times.
Keep a clean work surface.
If it is hot where you live, turn on the AC. You need a cool temperature for the lamination to work!
First Turn: I always find the first turn the hardest, because 1) The dough is still stretchy, so it needs to be cold, and you have to stretch it out at the corners, because you are aiming to get a rectangular shape for the dough 2) you are enclosing the big brick of butter in between dough, securing it, and rolling it out so that the butter is evenly distributed, that too with the muscle of your arms!
Straighten out the dough at all times with the bench scraper and the rolling pin. Use both these pieces of equipment a lot to help you keep the rectangle shape. Work steady but fast, since you want the dough and butter to stay cold at all times.
The minute you feel that you are not getting enough control of the dough, place the dough on a baking tray with parchment paper, and place it in the fridge for half an hour, for the dough to chill again. This will help you gain a better control on the dough.
Once you stretch it out to the desired size, fold it per the recipe. Straighten it out with the bench scraper, place it on a baking tray with parchment paper and let it rest in the fridge for about an hour to chill.
You can find the YouTube Video here: Episode 2: brioche dough, butter block addition, first turn – making Supreme Croissants! – YouTube
Second Turn: The second turn gets easy. The dough is more pliable and workable. You start getting a hang of it. Even though it is still an arm workout. Again the bench scraper, and the rolling pin are your best friends. You are trying to make a dough-butter-dough-butter layer in each turn, so that when the end product is baked, the butter enclosed between layers, melts, and creates an air pocket between the dough, and creates the flakey layers!
It is truly a therapeutic process, and really makes me feel very calm. You will again fold the dough as per the recipe, place it on a baking tray with parchment paper and let it rest in the fridge for an hour.
Third Turn: The same process as above is repeated.
You can find the YouTube video here: Episode 3: second and third turn – YouTube
In a bakery, the dough is put through a sheeter, and the sheeter does the work of thinning out the dough evenly, so that it can be cut into exact shapes, for making the french pastries.
At home, I cut the dough in half, and place the remaining half in the fridge. I work with one half of the dough to make it to 5mm thickness. I cut the piece out into a 13 x 13 inch square so that I can cut out 1 inch strips approximately. I join two strips lengthwise, and roll it neatly to form a spiral.
You want to tuck the corner under the croissant, when baking, so that the end is not left dangling. Repeat for the remaining strips to make 6 spiral croissants.
I place them on a baking tray with parchment paper, with rings around them. The rings were purchased from Amazon and are linked here. They are 4 inch diameter rings, and are 1 inch in height.
Proof, Bake and Fill the Croissant:
Proofing is an important step for pastries. I put the whole tray in proofing bags that I got from Amazon. I put inverted glasses in the tray so that the bag does not touch the pastry. Proofing will ensure that the butter does not leak out of the pastry when baking. The croissant should jiggle and almost double in size. That is when you know it has been proofed.
It should be in a temperature of about 75 degrees, and proof for about 2 to 3 hours.
Once proofed, make sure the brush egg wash on the pastries all over. Remove the ring and put the egg wash, for that golden brown finish.
Bake: When baking, start baking at a higher temperature of 415 degrees for a few minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for the remaining time. The secret to flattened croissants is — Place a baking tray on top of the croissants, not allowing them to puff up. Remove the baking tray about half way through and then let the croissant brown to perfection.
Once out of the oven, place the baking tray again on top because it would have risen slightly and be a bit uneven in shape. Placing the baking tray on top ensures that it flattens again.
Brush simple syrup immediately, while it is hot, so that the croissants get a nice crisp to them. Cool completely.
Fill: Filling the croissants is fun and tricky! I use a piping tip that is used to fill donuts. It is linked here. Fill the piping bag with the cold pastry cream and fill each croissant from atleast the top and the bottom of the spiral croissant. Make sure to apply even and slow pressure. You do not want to overfill.
You can find the YouTube Video here: Episode 4: Supreme Croissants ready!!! – YouTube
Cover the top with the ganache and toppings of your choice. I used a dark chocolate ganache, and freeze dried strawberries and cornflakes to top it off. I was going for the breakfast pastry vibe – with a cornflake cereal pastry cream, strawberries and milk as inspiration!
They are BEST eaten the day off. The next day, simply put them in a toaster oven and then eat them. My family thoroughly enjoyed these croissants and I cannot wait to make it again!
If you want to simply do the turns on Day 2, you can even do the final rolling on Day 3, along with the proofing, baking and filling of the croissants. That way you can get fresh croissants the morning of Day 3. You will have to wake up early on Day 3 to proof the croissants! But I think that is totally worth it!
If you do try this recipe, please tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on this blog post!
Hope you enjoyed the detailed recipe and instructions.